Miniature, 5.5 x 3.2 x 3.0 cm
Mogok, Burma

The former owner referred to this as a "jolt of color" in his case. This ruby specimen GLOWS with intense color, the color they call "pigeon-blood red" over there. It has also an incredible, waxy but glassy luster that is hard to describe and I think is unique to great corundums. The sum is, it glows and sparkles in a case, with even minimal lighting to backlight it. The color is also consistent throughout except only a very small crystal portion; AND you can see the whole specimen is crystallized. Burma rubies of large size are commonly lumpy, but this shows incredibly intricate faces, particularly on the display view. It is a floater, complete all around, if somewhat irregular on the backside. I lusted after this piece as I recall, in Tucson around 2004 when Bill Larson deaccessed this from his extensive Burma collection (certainly the best American collection of gem crystals from that country) and put it out for sale in Tucson. It was the centerpiece of one shelf in his display, as I recall: Just for color, and to attract buyers in. I recall it was priced on request, and frankly I do not believe to this day he really thought it would sell that quickly and wanted to keep it in the end; but it sold three times over on the opening weekend of the Westward Look show. I thought about buying it myself then (a question of budget), and I went back later to negotiate, but it was already gone! 2 Years later, I found myself staring at it in a collection, and recognized it immediately. Now I have it back again, from the Tom Hall collection. Tom is a longtime collector, recently retired from working, who since the 1960s has specialized in colorful miniatures and small cabinet pieces of high quality, trying to obtain the best he could in this size range from major, classic finds. His collection was always small but filled with choice beauties such as this. The piece is a very large miniature at 5.5 cm, but if you tilted it back slightly for display it would meet "competition miniature" sizing. Joe Budd photo.